Section A

Conversation 1

M: And now, for the lighter side of the news, Europe is setting an example for the rest of the world when it comes to food waste.

W: That’s right John. This week the Italian government pass legislation that aims to dramatically reduce the amount of food wasted in the country. New laws have been put into place that would make it easier for farms and supermarkets to donate unsold foods to those who are in need.

M: Yes. And in addition to this, businesses would now be rewarded for successful efforts to cut food waste.

W: Italy is not the only country to focus on reducing food waste. Just earlier this year, the European Parliament voted in favor of legislation that would stop grocery giants from unfair trading practices that result in overproduction, thus creating waste.

M: In France, the government has banned supermarkets from throwing away edible foods and imposed harsh penalties on businesses that fail to comply with the regulations.

W: While there is still much progress to be made, other countries could learn a thing or two from the example set by France and Italy. In the United States, up to forty percent of all food goes uneaten. Despite the fact that one in seven American households lacks regular access to good food, one major cause of this problem is the confusion over food expiration labels, which are currently not regulated by the government.

M: All this could change soon. This wave of new laws in Europe will definitely put more pressure on law makers to reduce food waste here. We turn now to a spokesperson from Harvard University’s Food Law and Policy Clinic for more on the story. And now, let’s welcome Prof. Edward Becker to speak to us. 


Q1: What does the woman say about the new laws in Italy?

Q2: What did the European Parliament do reduce food waste?

Q3: What has the French government done recently?

Q4: What is the major cause of food waste in the United States?